This Bronx-Based Running Club Doubles as a Local History Class


Like the rest of New York City, the Bronx has history hidden around every corner. You can find 19th century parks, noteworthy buildings, and memorials honoring the legacy of the borough and its residents just about everywhere. On a less positive note, it also happens to be the least healthy county in all of New York state.

When Bronx residents Justin Mashia and Pedro Rivera learned of the borough's health issues, they came up with a unique way to tackle the problem using the area’s rich history. As GOOD reports, they started Bronx Sole, an open running group that integrates significant local landmarks and their historical context into each run. On any given Tuesday night day, the runners might visit Yankee Stadium, the ruins of the Metropolis Theatre, or High Bridge, the oldest standing bridge in the city. At each destination, the group pauses for a brief history lesson.

When they initially formed Bronx Sole in September 2016, Mashia and Rivera—who first met at a Nike-sponsored workout in 2015—restricted enrollment to beginners.

“If I’m trying to get people to get off their couches to come outside and run, I don’t want them to be intimidated,” Mashia told GOOD. “You don’t want people coming out and dying, while everybody else is running with ease.”

They have since relaxed those rules. Today, runners of all ages and experience levels are invited to join the group for aerobic exercise mixed with some education. To make sure none of the participants feel left out, a pacer is there to take up the rear. Participants come away from the 3 to 4 mile run feeling a little healthier and knowing a little more about the borough they live in.

If you're a New Yorker, Bronx Sole meets every Tuesday night at 6 p.m. outside Franz Siegel Park.

[h/t GOOD]

The 13 Scariest Haunted Houses in America


Horror lovers will feel right at home in New York or Ohio. Attractions in those states claim four out of 13 spots on Halloween expert Larry Kirchner’s new list of America’s scariest haunted houses. Drawing upon his 25 years of experience designing and installing Halloween attractions, Kirchner releases the list on his website,, each year.

This year, Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses in Ulster Park, New York, tops the list. A historic 18th-century manor provides a spooky backdrop to the haunt, which includes a theatrical hayride, corn maze, eight haunted attractions, and escape rooms. “Dr. Dark’s Circus Side Show” (with everyone’s favorite: creepy clowns) will be one of the new themes offered this year, and another new section called “Two Raven’s Manor” will feature stunt actors and a magician.

The runner-up on Kirchner’s list is Field of Screams in Mountville, Pennsylvania. The attraction promises its hayride will be “the most disturbing ride of your life through thick rows of corn.” Expect to see demented doctors, evil nurses, chainsaw and ax murderers, and miscellaneous monsters.

Check out the full list of attractions below, and head to Haunt World’s website for additional details.

1. Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses: Ulster Park, New York
2. Field of Screams: Mountville, Pennsylvania
3. The Dent Schoolhouse: Cincinnati, Ohio
4. 13th Gate: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
5. Netherworld: Atlanta, Georgia
6. Nightmare on 13th: Salt Lake City, Utah
7. Haunted Schoolhouse & Laboratory: Akron, Ohio
8. Bennett’s Curse: Baltimore, Maryland
9. Haunted Overload: Lee, New Hampshire
10. Erebus: Pontiac, Michigan
11. Hell’s Gate: Lockport, Illinois
12. The Darkness: St. Louis, Missouri
13. Bayville Screampark: Bayville, New York

You Can Visit Any National Park For Free This Saturday

Mark Ralston, AFP/Getty Images
Mark Ralston, AFP/Getty Images

Looking for something to do this weekend? Within driving distance of one of the country's more than 400 national parks? The timing might work out. On Saturday, September 22, the National Park Service will be celebrating National Public Lands Day by offering free admission to any national park that normally charges an entrance fee.

Established in 1994 by the National Environmental Education Foundation, National Public Lands Day is held annually on the fourth Saturday in September. The day is set aside to recognize and encourage stewardship of green space in individual communities. If you see an opportunity to volunteer that day, you can get a voucher good for admission on a day of your choosing.

Admission to federally owned parks during peak season averages $30 at the 117 locations that require payment for access. Recently, the National Park Service had considered raising the fee to $70 at 17 of the busiest parks. The potential move would help address maintenance and other costs, but it's drawn criticism from conservation groups arguing the locations should remain affordable to visitors. In the end, the NPS decided to raise prices by $5 for one-time entry, or $5 to $10 for an annual pass, though some fees won't rise until 2020.

You can search for parks by state or by activity using the National Park Service Find a Park search engine here. Note that any additional charges for camping or other attractions aren't included in the promotion.

Can't make it this weekend? The parks are open for a fee-free day four times in 2018, down from 10 in 2017. The next date is November 11, in honor of Veterans Day.